In giving attention to discipline, personal and national, consider these points.

The words disciple and discipline come from the same root word. Both mean to teach or train. Jesus was disciplining His disciples, He was teaching them. The purpose of God’s discipline, whether personal or national, is to train. 

Discipline, or in this case “spiritual discipline,” is a training activity that helps to shape and mold character over an extended period of time.

If you know some self-disciplined adults you know some whose parents disciplined them in their youth. They were well taught, discipled.

Before going further consider these verses and observe aspects of discipline.

“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” (Heb 12:5-8)

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12: 11)

A very good friend shared this quote with me regarding God. “No one undoes what He has ordained. When He permits evil we can trust that He has planned to use it for His children’s good and His glory.”

The Lord has put the cookies on the lower shelf in this simple analogy.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6: 7-9)

To expand it further: You reap what you sow, you reap later than you sow, you reap more than you sow. It is an inexorable principle, it is going to happen.

God’s appeal to us personally, and to America, is expressed in this verse. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3: 19)

Before being critical of America’s need to repent, be certain there is nothing of which you should repent personally. Aspire to have a cleansed pure life.